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Hangzhou Travel China, Hangzhou Tour Guide

Hotels for your stay in Hangzhou    Hangzhou News
China Hangzhou City:
Hangzhou

General Information:
Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang province and its political, economic and cultural center. With its famous natural beauty and cultural heritages, Hangzhou is one of China's most important tourist venues.

The City, the southern terminus of the Grand Canal, is located on the lower reaches of the Qiantang River in southeast China, a superior position in the Yangtze Delta and only 180 kilometers from Shanghai. Hangzhou has a subtropical monsoon type climate with four quite distinct seasons. However, it is neither too hot in summer nor too cold in winter making it a year round destination.

The West Lake is undoubtedly the most renowned feature of Hangzhou, noted for the scenic beauty that blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites. In this scenic area, Solitary Hill, the Mausoleum of General Yue Fei, the Six Harmonies Pagoda and the Ling Yin Temple are probably the most frequently visited attractions. The "Ten West Lake Prospects" have been specially selected to give the visitor outstanding views of the lake, mountains and monuments.

A number of national museums can be found in Hangzhou and are representative of Chinese culture. Fine examples are the National Silk Museum and Tea Museum. Along with the other museums in Hangzhou, they provide a fascinating insight into the history of Chinese traditional products.

One of the most important parts of traveling is tasting the local delicacies. Hangzhou dishes are noted for their elaborate preparation, sophisticated cooking and refreshing taste. Many local specialties will be sure to make your trip a cultural experience. We recommend that you try Beggar's Chicken (a chicken baked in clay), West Lake Fish (vinegar coated fish fresh caught from the lake), Dongpo Pork (braised pork) and Fried Shrimps with Longjing Tea, etc.

The shopping environment in Hangzhou is exciting and convenient. Travelers and tourists like to go to Qing He Fang Street. It is one of the most famous and historic streets in the city and reflects many of the features of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Shoppers will admire the antique buildings while purchasing items from a wide range of local goods such as silks, tea or maybe a silk parasol, brocade or a beautiful Hangzhou fan. These are just some of the items to be found but there are many more.

At night Hangzhou has much to offer and teahouses and various kinds of pubs are both plentiful and popular. Choosing one overlooking the West Lake for a pleasant chat over a cup of tea is sure to make you feel totally relaxed and refreshed.

While much of the ancient city that had been the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion in the mid-nineteenth century, today's Hangzhou is a modern and vibrant economical center. As such it provides a base for many talented and skilled people. Never the less, thanks to its unique setting by the West Lake it continues to enjoy the many benefits of the natural surroundings that have delighted visitors for centuries. Not only was it much vaunted in his writings by the 13 century explorer, Marco Polo but the Lake and its environs have inspired poets of great renown such as Bai Juyi and Su Dongpo down the ages. There can be no doubt that visit here is certain to be a memorable one.

Geography:
Hangzhou,the capital of Zhejiang province with the sub-provincial administrative level, is the center of provincial politics, economy, culture, science and education. It covers an area of 1.66 km2 with a population of 6.21 million. The economic development level of Hangzhou is very high, its economic strength is continuously ranked second among all provincial capitals and its economic general strength is listed in the top ten among all the big-middle cities in China. Hangzhou is not only one of the safest tourist-city, but also one of the best cities of internal securityHangzhou locates close to China east coast, in the lower reaches of the Qiantang River and at the southern end of the Grand Canal (Beijing - Hangzhou). The distance between Hangzhou and Shanghai is 200 kilometers, which is connected by the railway and highway. It only takes less than 2 hours to reach Shanghai; the trip is quite comfortable and efficient. The city tree is Camphor Tree and the city flower is Osmanthus.
As a famous scenic city in China, Hangzhou attracts more than 20 million domestic and foreign tourists every year. Hangzhou is known for its natural beauty of West Lake worldwide. ¡°Above is paradise, below is Suzhou and Hangzhou¡± expresses people¡¯s indeed praise to Hangzhou. In the Yuan Dynasty, the famous Italian traveler Marco Polo described this city as ¡°the finest and most splendid city in the world.¡±

Transport in Hangzhou:
Hangzhou enjoys a very convenient transportation. With the newly built Xiaoshan International Airport, passengers carried by air can reach 8 million person-times a year. Now, the airport has more than 35 regular domestic flights, 2 international flights to Korean and Bangkok, Tailand and 4 joint flights. There stand two arterial railways: Shanghai-Hangzhou and Zhejiang ¨CJiangzxi Railways with subsidiary railways of Xiaoshan-Ningbo Railway, Jinhua-Qiandao Lake Railway and Hangzhou-Changxing Railway. Its highways, e.g. Ningbo-Hangzhou Highway connects Shanghai and Nanjing; Hangzhou-Anhui Highway connect with Huan Shan (Yellow Mountain). Qiantang River and Grand Channel are the major waterways of Hangzhou and has more than 20 shipping lanes to Suzhou and Wuxi etc. ]
Hangzhou¡¯s transport system mainly includes public trackless trolleys, buses, coasters and taxis. There are direct lines to the tourist destinations. Public trackless trolley and bus one stop fare is 1 Rmb, the trolley and bus with A/C fare is 2 Rmb. Coaster one-stop fare is 1.5 to 2 Rmb.Taxi is pricing according to fee register. Minimum fare of taxi is 10 Rmb for 4 kilometers. Over 4 kilometers to 8 kilometers, every kilometer is 2 Rmb. Over 8 kilometers is 2.4 Rmb.

As a modern city, Hangzhou has a very complete and advanced transport system including railways, highways, waterways and airways. There are national arterial railways: Shanghai-Hangzhou, Zhejiang ¨C Jiangxi, Xianshan-Ninbo railways which connect Hangzhou with all the cities around the China. You can take the train from the New Train Station or East Train Station to reach more than 20 cities like Beijing, Shanghai etc directly. Currently, passengers carried are tens of thousands every day. Starting from 21 October, round-trip train tickets to all the interconnecting train stations can be bought in Hanghzou.

With the completion highway network including Hangzhou ¨C Shanghai Highway, Hangzhou ¨C Ninbo Highway and provincial highways, Hangzhou citizens enjoy a very convenient transport. There are now four big shuttle bus stations in Hangzhou including East Bus Station, South Bus Station, West Bus Station and North Bus Station. Totally 18 bus routes and over 10 traveling routes are opened to the public with the luxury buses. The ticket selling network is completed. Tickets can be bought from the all the branches of Construction Bank in Hangzhou.

As an enjoyable way for outing, some waterways to Suzhou, Wuxi and Zhouzhuang are available in Hangzhou. Normally, you can take the ship in the evening and reach the destination next morning. It is a perfect way for you to appreciate the local flavor in the area south of the Yangtze River and the rich cultural of Grand Cannel. As well, Hangzhou has over 30 domestic flights to the major cities in China including Dalian, Haikou and Hongkong etc.

Bus Information:
No. 504, Yanan Road to Jiuqi
No. 505, Zoo to Lingyin
No. 507 Around the West Lake and Lingyin
No. 508 Zoo to Longjing
No. 538 Lingyin to Song Dynasty Town
No. 7 Downtown Train Station to Lingyin
No. 11, East Train Station to Cuiyuan
No. 20 East Train Station to Ceramics Market
No. 28 East Train Station to Yuquan

Cuisine:
Hangzhou China Gourmet Food Festival is organized by China Trade Union and Hangzhou Government. No. 2 China Gourmet Food Festival that was sponsored by China Hotel Association, Hangzhou Commerce Bureau and Hangzhou Commerce Property Operation Co. was held from 1st to 6th November 2001. More that 1.34 million guests attended the Festival during the 6 days. The total revenue of this event is over Rmb 159 million.
On China Famous Snack Food Exhibition night market which was held on the Hangzhou Wushan Culture Square and Yanan Road, more than 500 varieties of China famous snack food were presented. The night market attracted 250, 000 people to taste and enjoy the snack food every night¡£
No. 3 China Gourmet Food Festival will be held in Hangzhou again. According to statistics, total 74 domestic cities and 11 countries including U.S.A., France, Russia, German, Hungary, Austria, Israel, Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia will attend this festival. The formal representatives and guests can reach 3000; the total revenue will be 18.1 million.

Hangzhou Culture:
Holding Date: The middle ten days of October every year
West Lake Expo starts since 1929, known as a famous international expo together with ¡° Chicago Expo 1893¡± ¡°Paris Expo 1900¡± and ¡°Philadelphia Expo 1927¡±. After 71 years, Hangzhou hosts the West Lake Expo every year since 2000. It is very welcomed by the tourists and the public. Till now, it is continuously hosted three times.
West Lake Expo of 2003 will start from October and last for 22 days. More than 40 activities will be held including exhibitions, trade activities, forums, performance etc. The most attractive activities are West Lake International Fireworks Festival, West Lake Revelry Festival, Opening Ceremony Performance.
est Lake Expo Website (English)http://www.xh-expo.com

Holding Date: The middle ten days of September every year
Qiantang tide is a remarkable natural phenomenon which has exited the world because of its tremendous momentum and grand sight view. Watching the tidal waves of the Qiantang has been a significant event for over 2000 years since Han and Wei Dynasty. August 18 every year by the lunar calendar witnesses a sea of people thronging towards the bank of Qiantang River to watch the tidal waves of the Qiantang River, the remarkable natural phenomenon. On the first and 15th day of the lunar month, the tide is the most wonderful because the Sun, Moon and Earth are on the line. Actually, there are total more than 20 tide watching days. Started in 1994, China International Qiantang Tide Watching Festival is held annually with its principal meeting ¨C place at Yanguan Township of Haining. The major activities of Tide Watching Festival including: an opening ceremony, in which is given the grand folk song ¨C and ¨C dance performance entitled A Sacrificial Song and Dance to the God of Tides. Meanwhile, there is a temple fair at Temple of the God of the Sea, performance including lion dance, dragon dance, folk song performance, Beijing opera, folk leather ¨C silhouette show, folk opera performance. The traditional lantern competition during the festival will enhance its festive air.
The second meeting ¨C place is located at Qian Jiang Tide Watching City of Xiaoshan.

Holding Date: The middle ten days of September every year
Sweet osmanthus is the city flower of Hangzhou, which is one of China¡¯s five osmanthus producing areas including Hangzhou, Xianling, Suzhou, Guiling and Hefei. The West Lake Osmanthus Festival is held in Hangzhou every autumn when osmanthus flowers are in full bloom.
Sweet Ostmanthus Rain at Manjuelong Village, is the main scene for festive celebrations. Along the road, more than 7000 ostmanthus trees are planted. During the period of Ostmanthus Festival, there are more than 200 colorful tents on the two sides of the road. The tourists can enjoy the tea and ostmanthus in the tents which are beside the ostmanthus trees.
West Lake Ostmanthus Festival combines ¡°ostmanthus culture¡± and ¡°tea culture¡± together. In the opening ceremony, a grand performance with dragon well tea courtesy performance is held. Meanwhile, there are ¡°Cherish the memory of Premier Zhou Eng Lei¡± ¡°Yu Da FU ¡®Late Ostmanthus¡¯ forum¡± etc. In order to enhance its participation, Manjuelong Village will hold tea courtesy performance of 6 major regional styles, flower art performance, open challenge of bridge and chess, mini golf and kids garden etc.
West Lake Ostmanthus Festival will last for one month¡£
Holding Date: During the West Lake Expo every year

West Lake International Fireworks Festival is an important event of West Lake Expo which has a scene of bustle and excitement in the evening. Thousands of people sit around the West Lake to wait for watching the fireworks show. 2002 China West Lake International Fireworks Festival was held in the evening of 20th October. More than 30,000 fireworks displayed in the sky above the West Lake, bright and multicolored. The magnificent scene really excited more 400 thousand tourists, Chinese and foreign. Fireworks that was displayed in that evening had more than 300 varieties.

Hangzhou Attractive points:
Harbin is a thriving industrial city in Heilongjiang Province. It is not only the capital of Heilongjiang but it is also the political, economic, scientific, cultural and communications mecca of Northeast China. Referred to as the "pearl under the swan's neck", it is an artistic and symbolic reference to Harbin's geographical position as a powerhouse city under the neck of the wing-stretched, swan-shaped Heilongjiang Province.
Called the Oriental Moscow, Harbin is one of China's more beautiful cities. Blessed with grace and character, the city is renowned for its unique, Russian-influenced architecture. Remnants from the days when Harbin was a crucial stop on the Russian Manchurian Railroad, the dome-shaped structures are nostalgic throwbacks to pre-revolutionary Russia. The strong Russian flavor continues to permeate the city today due to burgeoning trade and tourism between Harbin and Russia. On the streets of Harbin, a fair amount of the foreigners are Russian. The city's mixture of grandiose historical buildings with the growing number of sleek and slick modern commercial and office buildings reflect the intriguing juxtaposition of Harbin's history and future.

Harbin city proper occupies a total area of 53,000 square kilometers and its urban areas take up 1,637 square kilometers. The city is clearly divided into seven districts.

Nangang
This is the largest and most populated district in Harbin. Centrally located, it is home to major offices of the provincial government and is the political heart of Heilongjiang province. Other areas of interest within the district are the Harbin Railway Station, Guomao underground shopping street,
Confucius Temple and Jili Temple.

Daoli
Situated in the northern part of the city, this major district is the site of the city's municipal government offices. As Harbin's economic and cultural district, Daoli is a must-see on most visitor's lists. It draws people due to its colorful Russian-style buildings,
Annual Ice Lantern Festival, and major community centers. Worth seeing here are the St. Sophia Cathedral, Zhongyang Department Store, Harbin First Department Store,
Anti-Flood Memorial Tower, and
Central Street.

Daowai
Located south of Daoli, Daowai District is another important commercial district of Harbin. Containing many government bureaus and departments, this area is essential for many people intending to do business with the local government. The Songhua River flows through the district, dividing it into two distinct areas, the north and the south.

The north part is known for its scenic natural landscapes, of which
Sun Island is a prime example. The district is home to various minority ethnic groups who reside here such as Koreans, Mongolians and Russians. In comparison, the south part is far more developed. It is actually the birthplace of Harbin's bustling commerce and trade. This is reflected in the number of shops lining the streets such as Tongji Department Store, Lao Dingfeng Bakery, Heng De Li Clocks and Spectacles Shop, and Shi Yi Tang Drugstore. Recommended places to visit are the South Pole Food Wholesale Market, North Ring Metal and Building Materials Wholesale Market, and Jiang Pan Shoes Wholesale Market.

Dongli
In English, "dongli" means motivating power. This district is of little sightseeing interest but it is the industrial heart of Harbin. First established in late 1958, this district was built on factories. Today, this area consists of the Harbin Economic and Technological Development Zone, various state-owned enterprises, 14 universities and colleges, and 27 research institutes.

Taiping
The Taiping District is found on the eastern side of Harbin. Of all the districts, this one is the least developed. Rural in landscape, this area is still significant due to the Harbin Port, which is one of China's eight river ports. From this port is a gateway to Russia. The district also has the city's largest highway transportation center and the Harbin East Railway Station.

Xiangfang
Found in the southeast, this district's claim to importance is that it is one of the oldest parts of Harbin city. The district's name, xiangfang, means "a workshop for incense". The name was derived from the city's first incense workshop, which was established here in 1893.

Pingfang
This is the smallest district in Harbin. Located at the southeastern tip of Harbin, it is the exit into nearby Jilin Province and Liaoning Province. This area is considered China's major aircraft, automobile and aluminium alloy manufacturing base. The historical remains of the Japanese Germ Warfare Experimental Base ¨C 731 Division are found here. The site is open to the public today as a somber reminder of the horrors of war.
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